Narumi Nekpenekpen

Russell & Robert meet artist Narumi Nekpenekpen from her studio in Los Angeles! Special episode in collaboration with @ODDAmagazine - check out their latest issue for an exclusive #TalkArt feature. Thanks to ODDA for including excerpts from this interview in their new issue!

Kate Wong writes about Narumi's works as shown in London at Soft Opening, gallery's space at Piccadilly Circus tube station: Nekpenekpen’s figures are small in relation to the human form, but gargantuan relative to the stars we see in the night sky, or the flecks of earthen elements that constitute the clay from which they have been formed. With their big doe eyes, heart-shaped pouty lips and cobby bodies, they gesture with a quiet but visceral urgency. Inspired by the poetry of dreams and daydreams, and also by the language of film, Nekpenekpen’s work traverses questions of mistranslation, identity and belonging. In their innocence and playfulness, the sculptures protest against the binary of low and high art, and the Western commodification of different aesthetic forms. Drawing from wide-ranging pop-cultural references, Nekpenekpen’s figures come together in a liminal place. Here at the boundary of diverse perspectives, untethered from preexisting ways of seeing and making, her characters come to life. In her process, slab porcelain clay is pushed and pulled into a central foundation onto which, like armour, the artist affixes a head, chunky limbs and highly textured garments, chains and other accessories. Nekpenekpen is interested both in what clay wants to do on its own, as well as what can emerge from their imminent relation. This method of handbuilding is honest, informed both by incongruity and imperfection. The result is a small, fierce army of lovers, produced from Nekpenekpen’s care and a dynamism of intra-acting forces. In this interstitial place, a dependency on others is essential to existence; love reigns supreme.

Follow @NaruBlu on Instagram. Special thanks to Antonia Marsh at Soft Opening, gallery in London. Follow @ODDAmagazine on Instagram and check out ODDA latest issue for Talk Art special feature this month!!!

For images of all artworks discussed in this episode visit @TalkArt. Talk Art theme music by Jack Northover @JackNorthoverMusic courtesy of We've just joined Twitter too @TalkArt. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. For all requests, please email

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